American Empire?

US Government and Politics

In how many countries are U.S. troops present?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprised are you by this information?

  3. How surprising do you think this information would be to the average American?

  4. What is one reason the U.S. has a military presence in so much of the world?

  5. What is one consequence of the U.S. having a military presence in so much of the world?

  6. Which of the countries where the US has a military presence was most surprising to you?

  7. What would be a good title for this map?

  8. What do you think this map would have looked like 116 years ago?

  9. How do you think this map will look different in 20 years?

  10. In the comments section, explain whether you believe this is good news or bad news?

  11. Who are some members of the U.S. government who make decisions about levels of troop deployment?

  12. Imagine you objected to this level of U.S. Involvement. Describe the most politically efficacious step A U.S. Citizen could take to change this:

Action Extension

Post a copy of this map on social media or show a copy of this map to five of your friends. Ask them to share their reaction with you and then share highlights or an overview of their reactions with your president.

Learning Extension

Read this interesting article about the American Empire.

Visual Extension

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World's Biggest Companies

What is the world's biggest company by market cap (total financial value)?

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  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What surprised you about this list?

  3. Which of the top 5 companies do you use/visit?

  4. Which of the top 5 companies have you never heard of?

  5. What questions do you have?

  6. How many of the top 5 companies are American (hint: look at the names)?

  7. Would it be more accurate to describe this chart as business globalization or business Americanization?

  8. What kind of businesses are the most powerful companies (manufacturing, tech, financial, energy)?

  9. If you wanted to advise someone how to get rich. What would you tell them to sell?

  10. The Market cap (financial value) of Facebook is greater than the GDP (financial value) of Finland. Share your thoughts about the relative power of corporations in the comments section below:

Learning Extension

Learn more about the world's most valuable businesses in this PWC report.

Action Extension

Ask ten people to name the world's ten biggest companies and share the results in class or on social media.

Bonus Visual from 2012*

As of 2012

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The World's Population

What will the world's population be in 2050?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprised are you by this information?

  3. What is one big trend you see in this data?

  4. What is one cause of this trend?

  5. What is one consequence of the trend?

  6. How will this affect the US and its power in the world?

  7. Will this trend affect you personally? (for instance, how might it affect where you might live, work, travel, or marry?)

  8. What is one question you have about this?

  9. By 2050, Africa will have the same population as the Europe, Oceania, North America, Latin America & The Caribbean combined. How do you imagine that will change the power dynamic of the entire world?

  10. In the COMMENTS section describe what you think the world will be like in 2050:


Learning Extension

Read this U.N. report on world population projections for 2050.


Action Extension

Contact the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and find out what what they are doing about the global population expansion.


Bonus Chart

Global Language

What is the world's most commonly spoken language?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What was most surprising about this information?

  3. Would you say there is such thing as a global language?

  4. Is this infographic good news or bad news?

  5. What does globalization have to do with this infographic?

  6. How many languages do you speak?

  7. Just 500 years ago, less than 5 million people spoke English. Why has that number grown so much?

  8. How do you think the globalization of language and spread of English has affected your life?

  9. One entire language is lost every 14 days. What do you think globalization has to do with this?

  10. If you could learn only one other language, explain which you would choose in the comments section:


Learning Extension

By the end of the century, nearly half the world's languages are predicted to become extinct. Explore this fantastic National Geographic interactive website on disappearing languages.


Action Extension

Learn one of the languages the world is predicted to lose in the next century.

World's Deadliest Animal

What is the world's deadliest animal?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What surprised you about this infographic?

  3. Write down two questions this infographic raises for you:

  4. Boil down the essence of this infographic into a 140 character statement (Tweet):

  5. Are you scared of mosquitoes?

  6. Which of the animals on the chart are you most scared of?

  7. How rational is your fear?

  8. What exactly do mosquitoes do that makes them so deadly?

  9. In the comments section write your reaction to the fact that every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria -  a disease that can be prevented for a child for 5 years for only $10.


Action Extension

Learn: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Malaria Strategy and then take one action at: Malaria No More

US bff?

AP Government and Politics

Of all the world's countries, which has the least favorable view of the U.S.?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How surprising is this information?

  3. What is the big story that this information tells?

  4. What are two things that most of the countries that dislike the U.S. have in common?

  5. Why do you think these critics dislike the U.S. so much?

  6. What is a consequence of having so many countries dislike the U.S. so much?

  7. Do the views of the citizens of a country always translate into the policies and positions of the governments of their countries?

  8. Why do you think that the "Top Ten Fans" countries like the US so much?

  9. Now that Donald Trump is president how do you think this list and these attitudes might change?

  10. How does the information from this chart affect U.S. foreign policy?

  11. It's not surprising that Israel and South Korea like the U.S., but which of the "Top 10 Fans of the U.S." countries surprised you most?

  12. Many of the countries that dislike the U.S. the most are America's allies. In the comments section, explain how they could be our allies and dislike us at the same time:


Learning Extension

Read the 2015 Pew Global Attitudes Report to find out more about global attitudes towards the U.S.

 


Action Extension

Last summer, as I traveled around Turkey and Greece, I tried to be a good ambassador for the U.S. Think of a way an American student could be a good ambassador without even leaving home. Become an e-pal with a student from one of the Top Ten Critic Countries. 


Bonus Map & Bonus Question

¿Why does everybody hate New Jersey?

Foreign Born Americans

In 2010, what percent of Americans were not born in the U.S, and how does that % compare to the rest of the world?*

  1. *In 2010, 13.84% of Americans were not born in the U.S. In 1960, it was 5.99%.

  2. How accurate was your prediction?

  3. What most surprised you about this data?

  4. Explain one cause of almost 15% of the American population foreign born:

  5. Explain one consequence of almost 15% of the American population being foreign born:

  6. Explain whether it is good or bad that almost 15% of Americans are foreign born.

  7. What is one political consequence of having such a historically high level of foreign born population?

  8. How do you think this historically high level of foreign born Americans affected the 2016 election?

  9. Do you think that all people born in America should automatically get citizenship?

  10. What parts of the US government have a say in making U.S. immigration policy?

  11. What specific steps has the Trump Administration taken to try to lower the % of foreign born Americans?

  12. What are the top home countries of foreign born Americans?**

  13. Identify any geographical patterns of foreign born population %s across the globe:

  14. Beyond America, what are some global factors that are influencing such a high level of worldwide migration?

  15. "The more immigrants the better." Explain your opinion of this statement:

Learning Extension

Go to the Our World In Data website and use their wicked cool interactive tools to watch the rate of change of foreign born populations over the past half century. Pretty nifty, huh?

Action Extension

America has long been a country of immigrants. Contact the White House and let them know whether you think they should build walls or bridges with the rest of the world, encouraging or discouraging more immigration.

Bonus Graph**

 

 

High Tech

What nation spends the most money per person on information and communication technology?

Graphic courtesy of statista

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What story does the chart tell?

  3. Why do you think Americans are the heaviest tech spenders?

  4. What do you think is a consequence of such heavy tech spending?

  5. What's the best thing about the US spending so heavily on tech?

  6. What's the worst thing about the US spending so heavily on tech?

  7. How would the US be different if we spent the same amount per capita as China ($294)?

  8. How would your life be different if you spent no money on information and communication technology?

  9. In the comments section below list one other thing you think the average American spends $3000 per year:


Learning Extension

Read this Pew Report on Teens and tech usage.


Action Extension

Calculate how much you spend per year on information and communication technology: (include hardware - phones, software - apps, and digital plans - cable/phone bill, etc). Share your tech spending score on social media and challenge your online friends to share their own scores to see who spends the most and the least.

World's biggest internet companies

What is the world's biggest (most valuable) internet company?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What surprised you about this list?

  3. Which of these companies do you use/visit?

  4. Which of these companies have you never heard of?

  5. What questions do you have about this information?

  6. How many of these companies didn't even exist 20 years ago (1996)?*

  7. How many of them do you think will continue to exist 20 years from now?

  8. (Unless it says otherwise) all the companies listed above are American. Why do you think that is?

  9. Is this good news or bad news for the U.S.?

  10. People say that the future belongs to America, after having looked at this chart, what would you say to them about that? Post your answer in the comments section:

*Google was founded on September 4, 1998. Facebook, on February 4, 2004.

Only one of the companies on this list is a world top 10 company by market cap. It's Google, at #3. Alibaba just cracks the top 20, and Facebook, comes in at #22.


Learning Extension

Read about the Five internet companies that control 70% of all online revenue.


Action Extension

Avoid visiting the top three U.S. internet companies (Google, Facebook, & Amazon) for 24 hours and share he results of your test in class or on social media.

Notflix

In what three countries is Netflix not available?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this map?

  3. What is the big story this map tells?

  4. Why is Netflix not available in those three countries?

  5. What are 3 other things you imagine those 3 non-Netflix nations are also lacking?

  6. What affect does the ubiquity of Netflix have on the world?

  7. Explain which of those three Non-Netflix countries you think Netflix will next be available in?

  8. Let's call the list of Non-Netflix nations the Netflix Index. What do you think were the ten most recent countries to get off that list?

  9. Is there a better example of globalization than Netflix?

  10. Explain whether having Netflix in a country makes the country more democratic and free?

  11. What do you think would be another good measure of isolation from the rest of the world? 

  12. What does the fact that Netflix is a U.S. company tell us about our country and its relationship with the world?

  13. Netflix did NOT exist 20 years ago. Today it is worth over $32 billion. Explain whether you think Netflix will still exist 10 years from now:

  14. If you had to choose, explain whether you'd prefer to live in a country with the right to watch Netflix or the right to vote?


Learning Extension

Read the entire list of Netflix countries.


Action Extension

Call Netflix Customer service: 1 (866) 579-7172 and ask to speak to CEO Reed Hastings. Ask him to let me stream House of Cards for my class for free and ask them why they are not in North Korea, China, and Syria: